By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
I enjoy food. Not in a kind of foodie way, or in a lethargic eat-everything kind of way. I find food to be an integral part of life. Much like smells can conjur up memories, so too food defines aspects of our lives.
I’ve wanted to write a “food biography” for a while, looking back at the restaurants that defined eras of activity.
When I was a kid growing up in Maine it was different. My parents decided what would eat. My mom made eggrolls, grape leaves, and later she would make pizza from Boboli. Dad liked to make soups, Ossobuco, bouillabaisse and other delectables. Later he founded a Smoked Salmon business. I remember the pea soups, the fried mushrooms, the cold leak soup and fried fiddleheads. We had lobster bakes and when I went to the Vineyard I would try to catch crabs. Those are my memories.
I have no food memories from Southwest Harbor, Connecticut in 1997 or Seal Harbor. When mom and I moved to her new house on the road to Northeast Harbor, I recall only eating microwave meals from time to time. Every once in a while we had takeaway pizza at the Colonel’s.
When I moved to Arizona in 1994 I recall we had a Japanese place in the Village of Oak Creek. We got to know the chef and enjoyed the California rolls and other food. There was also a place nearby that served jalapeno bread and calzones. Mom lived at the Oak Creek Estados a the time and I attended VVS. I’m sure we enjoyed Mexican food but I can’t recall any places. We used to go up to flagstaff sometimes and eat at a diner.
After VVS I attended Orme School. There, we went sometimesto Zeke’s Eatin Place. They had great hamburgers on a giant bun. We also enjoyed the Gurley St.Grill. When Mom lived in Jerome there was a great sandwich place called the Flatiron. Probably at this time I got into eating Subway a lot. I drove back to the Vineyard and Maine in the summer of 1998 before University. I worked at a restaurant in Sullivan, Maine and would eat there. Later I would eat at Papa John’s in Oak Bluffs, now closed, and Giordano’s.
Back in Arizona at University I don’t recall much of my first year. I think I ate a lot of drive-thru, Taco Bell, Carl’s Jr., Jack-in-the-Box, hanging out at Borders Books and Music and having Starbucks at Barnes and Noble. On campus I would eat a hot dog for lunch everyday at a small hotdog stand on the mall. Later I’d transition to having McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish. I was in student government at the time. I also discovered a sandwich place where I could get a croissant sandwich. Once I became President of College Republicans and my fraternity I recall going to P.F Changs a lot with the brothers. With an Indian friend I met over a classes on winter break I also got into Indian food. We would go to Sher-e-Punjab and other restaurants.
In Tucson I discovered some sub sandwich places such asEast Coast Super Subs and later Quiznos and Blmpie. I went to Olive Garden sometimes. I also found a great sandwich place that made a Turkey, mayo and onion sub and another place that made an Italian, I can’t recall their names.
I studied abroad several times. In Italy in Florence I used to eat a sandwich with mozzerella and pesto often. We also had four-cheese pizzas. In Russia we found a small pizza place on the island in St. Petersburg we lived at. We also ate schwarama and Russan food.
When I began working in mortgages I would eat at Beyond Bread and have a roast beef and brie for lunch, or a Muffuletta sandwich. I sometimes went to a steakhouse, maybe Sullivan’s. I had sushi every week (maybe at Sushi Ten). would get the buffet at La Paloma sometimes and go to the Arizona Inn for breakfast. When I lived in the Foothills I found an Italian restaurant with a meat salad I liked. When I moved to Cases De Kino I can’t recall the food I ate much. We definitely got Papa John’s Pizza to go and would eat at Los Betos Mexican place. There was also a Mexican place in South Tucson we would go to at night sometimes.
After Arizona I moved to Israel. When I lived in the dorms a Hebrew University we would eat at a falafel shop sometimes. Later when I lived on Lincoln street I would get all-you-can-eat Sushi at the David Citadel. There was an Italian place on Yoel Solomon st. Pinati hummous has been a favorite as was another hummous place, now closed, on Shammai street. There was an Italian place on Allenby st, also closed, and an Ethiopian place called Shegar. also enjoy Baba Yaga in Tel Aviv where they have a shrimp fettucini alfredo. Also Peking Duck House on Bograshov and Indira on Shaul HaMelech.
There was a time would go to the Lebanese restaurant in Ein Karem, before it closed. Also when I taught at Al-Quds University I would go to Acrmavi hummous, and sometimes Abu Shukri. There was also the schwarma place in Azaria. When I worked at Shalem Center I would go to the Yemenite restaurant on Emek. Now at The Jerusalem Post, I sometimes hit up Crave. Also Azura in the Shuk. For evening I go to The Barreloften.